Last week another precious life was lost. On January 26th, a 14-year-old teen was charged with capital murder for allegedly drowning a two-month-old that was temporarily staying in her home. As we gather history on the family, the toddler had been temporarily placed in this home while the biological mother spent 112 days in jail for a probation violation for a felony theft charge.
In situations like this, here is what we know. Given certain risk factors, we can predict the likelihood of abuse and as such we can prevent child abuse, serious injuries and fatalities. The risk factors in this situation included: the primary, biological mother was in jail and there were no biological family members able to care for the infant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that presence of these risk factors can lead to abuse, injury and/or a fatality.
Due to the presence of predictable risk factors, this death was preventable! As a community, we can’t simply throw up our hands and say that there was nothing we could have done. Child abuse is preventable and this is why Family Compass exists. Be a part of transforming the health and safety of our community by investing in our most precious resource – our children.